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5 years ago

ShopAndroid Daily contest winners!


If you're a registered member here at Android Central then you know our forums always have a contest happening. And if you're not registered, well -- now is as good a time as any. This week's winners are as posted after the break, and if you were chosen watch your email as we'll be following up shortly. Stay tuned for more upcoming contests folks. (And Transformer Prime winners will be announced later today.) Congrats to this week's winners!

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5 years ago

Quell Reflect [Android Game Review]


YouTube link for mobile viewing

If there's one thing Android isn't hurting for, it's puzzle games. Knowing that, I wouldn't be putting another puzzle game in front of you if it wasn't good. Great, even. And if there's one thing Quell Reflect is, it's a great puzzle game.

First thing, let's talk about Quell Reflect's aesthetic. When you're not in a game, the environment has this very old school, rustic look to it. Levels come in groups of four, and when you're on the level select screen, you'll notice that each batch of puzzles is assigned a year in the past, long, long ago. You're in what looks like a dank, stone basement, and there's vintage propaganda posters on the walls.

I'm not sure what it is, but I love it. It's unique and it definitely gives even something as simple as selecting a level a much cooler vibe.

In Quell Reflect, you're trying to fling a bubble around a world filled with obstacles, and collect pearls along the way. You advance to the next level once you've collected all the pearls, but the caveat is that once you've flung the bubble, the bubble is in motion until an outside force acts upon it (or, in layman's terms, it runs into a wall).

Your goal is to collect all of the pearls in the least number of moves possible. The game gives you an idea of what that number is each level, in the top-left corner of the screen. If you manage to complete a level in that number of moves, you're awarded a hint token. Having never used a hint token, I can't be certain what they do, but if I had to guess, I'd say they give you a hint​ on where to fling your bubble.

I absolutely am in love with this game. The beginning levels are fairly straightforward, but new mechanics are quickly added in, like the side of the screen with no border. If there's no stones to stop the bubble, it flings off the edge of the screen and comes out on the opposite side, a la Pacman-in-the-tunnel. Soon after, spikes are introduced, and after that, stones that need to be pushed together in order to make them disappear.

From the moment you start playing, you'll be taken with how much detail has been put into this game. The soundtrack isn't a slouch, either. The music is both tranquil and ambient, almost in the vein of Osmos HD. It's beautiful, and if you've got the battery for it, I don't think anyone would ridicule you for leaving the game open just to have pretty music going in the background.

What else is there to say? This is a beautiful, polished, intriguing game. It'll have you scratching your head as you try to uncover the most efficient way to win a level and then quickly lull you back into serenity with it's pleasant interface and calming music. Truly, Quell Reflect is the real deal.

Quell Reflect is 99 cents in the Google Play Store. We've got download links after the break.

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5 years ago

Android quick app: Adele


Adele won numerous awards at the Grammys about a month ago and with her official Android app, you can enjoy up-to-date info on the singer right from your pocket.

The app offers a lot for the huge or even casual Adele fan. When you open the app, you'll see changing pictures of Adele making up the background of the app and her name up top. The main options will be listed in green and with a simple swipe gesture, you'll be able to access the rest.

There are five options per page and I'll describe what each does:

  • News: Brings up an aggregated news feed, where you can see clips from her official website or her official Twitter feed
  • Music: Displays all of her music and allows you to preview each song
  • Videos: Allows you to view recent videos released by the singer. These consist of both music videos and live performances. For example, her recent show at Live at the Royal Albert Hall in London is included
  • Community: Allows you to interact with the Adele Fan Community, where people post comments and pictures
  • Live Shows: Displays information about future and past events. You can buy tickets to future performances or view photos and comments about past shows
  • About: Shows a short biography of the singer
  • Albums: Lists her albums to date, where you can view tracks and fan comments for specific albums
  • Photos: Displays several photos of the singer, which you can save and share if you wish
  • Favorites: Allows you to save data from the rest of the app in a simple list so it can easily be accessed
  • My Profile: If you're a huge Adele fan, you probably want to comment on albums or shows or post pictures. This is where you sign in, either with Twitter or Facebook, which allows you to leave posts
  • Top Users: Relating to the My Profile category, if you're posting a lot, you may find yourself rewarded by making the top users list. There are top users listed for all time, monthly, weekly and daily
  • Store: Brings you to her web store via the browser
  • Links: Displays links to Adele's official site, Facebook page and Twitter page
  • Mailing List: If you wish to receive mailings from Adele on future dates and music, you can sign up right from the app
  • Copyright: Self explanatory, just displays the copyright information

Overall, I'd say the official Adele app is really well done. I enjoy her music, but wouldn't call myself a big fan and I had a great experience exploring the app. The UI is something that definitely improves the experience. If you're a big Adele fan or just want to find out more information about the singer, check out the free app. Please find links and more screenshots after the break.

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5 years ago

Verizon says Remote Diagnostics tool doesn't track personal data in the background


Verizon over the weekend dropped word that an impending update to the LG Revolution would include a Verizon Remote Diagnostics app — a "new customer care solution to improve device issue diagnosis during customer support calls."

We've gotten some more detail on exactly what that entails, and it's not really anywhere near as scary as you might think. A Verizon spokesman tells us that it's really just a remote desktop type of thing. A VNC service, if you will. And, Verizon tells us, "no personal data like keystrokes or web history, location, etc., is logged or saved."

This sort of thing is a touchy subject because of the hot water carriers found themselves in last year over their use of Carrier IQ, a network analytics tool that was cooked into many smartphones to allow the silent uploading of network and device data. Users weren't explicitly made aware of its use, and a bit of a firestorm erupted. Warranted or not, any sort of "remote diagnostics" app added by a carrier to a smartphone is bound to raise eyebrows. 

We've got a feeling some folks will be putting that to the test, but for now we have absolutely no reason not to take Verizon at its word.

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5 years ago

International Galaxy S II ICS source code now available


Following last week's Ice Cream Sandwich update release for the international Samsung Galaxy S II, the kernel source code (along with other open-source odds and ends) for the new firmware has been released online. Android's Linux kernel lies at the heart of the OS, and kernel source code for Android devices must be released by manufacturers under the GNU General Public License.

While the code won't be of any use to your average Galaxy S II owner, custom firmware developers will welcome its release, as it'll assist them with the development of ICS ROMs for the device. That in turn makes for better custom ROMs, which is good news for everyone.

To grab the code for yourself, head to the source link and type "i9100" in the search box.

Source: Samsung Open Source Release Center; Thanks graffixnyc!

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5 years ago

Verizon Motorola Fighter shows its big ol' self


The Motorola RAZR isn't exactly a small phone. Thin, yes. Small? No. It's definitely got some square footage to it. Then there's this new behemoth. That, friends, is said to be the Motorola Fighter on the left here. And that unmistakable Verizon logo sure points to a U.S. launch at some point. That's supposed to be a 4.6-inch display, and the lack of physical buttons suggests it'll have Ice Cream Sandwich. (Which it damn well better have.) We've got feeling that the angle of this pic is making the Fighter look a little bigger than it actually is, but it's certainly going to put a crimp in your one-handed style.

Source: Mfunz (translate); via PhoneHK, Engadget

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5 years ago

Motorola Korea steps up customer service by offering remote LogMeIn Rescue assistance


Motorola has amped up their customer service offerings in Korea.  Staring with the Motorola RAZR, customers seeking support will now be able to download LogMeIn ‘Rescue + Mobile for Motorola’ where Motorola representatives will be able to login and remotely control the devices of those needing assistance.

“These smart services will help us provide even better and more personal support to our customers in Korea,” said Chul-Jong Jung, president of Motorola Korea. “We are committed to customer satisfaction, and making sure that people can get support when they need it and where they need it is an important part of that.”

Rather trying to explain how to fix things, logging in remotely allows not only to address the issue faster but the actions are also visible to customer so that if it arise again, they'll know what to do in order to fix it themselves. Want to know more? The full press release is past the break.

Source: Motorola

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5 years ago

Upcoming Samsung phone to use Samsung processor, says anonymous Samsung exec


Try to contain yourselves here, folks, but the upcoming (and still unannounced) Samsung Galaxy S III apparently will use a quad-core Samsung Exynos system, a "high-ranking" Samsung exec told Korea Times. Shouldn't be much of a surprise there — Samsung's been using Samsung chips (and displays, and who knows what else) in its own phones for quite some time. The bigger story perhaps is that it looks like Exynos processors finally will be playing nice with 4G radios (remember that NVIDIA Tegra 3 chips are finally getting there, too, as seen in a Fujitsu prototype), which will allow Samsung to forgo using other manufacturers' processors.

Of course, we still have no real idea of when we'll see any of this come to market. When Samsung announced its new 32nm Exynos 5250 in November 2011, it said it was scheduled for mass production in the second quarter of 2012.

Source: Korea Times

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5 years ago

HTC One roadshow coming to 'dozens of cities' around the world


Over the past year, HTC has taken to the road to promote its products across Europe. And for its latest series of smartphones, it's taking things to the next level, launching a worldwide tour to allow fans to go hands-on with its new HTC One line-up.

In a post on its official blog, the manufacturer reveals that it plans to visit "dozens of cities" across the globe, including the major cities you see in the image above. If last year's roadshows are any indication, this year's tour should be a great opportunity for regular people (as opposed to snooty press types like ourselves) to get an early look at the One X, One S and maybe even the One V. No specific dates are mentioned, but according to today's blog post, the tour is planned for "the next several weeks."

HTC's also asking fans to suggest more destinations to add to its line-up, so if you're not anywhere near the nine cities that've already been announced, there's still time make yourself heard.

Source: HTC Blog

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5 years ago

HTC One X, One S pre-order prices emerge


HTC has offered little in the way of pricing info or launch dates for its new One series. However, pre-order listings by a number of UK retailers present some clues as to when you'll be able to get your hands on the One X and One S, and for how much. Several online stores, including Amazon, Clove and Expansys are listing HTC's new flagship phone for release on April 5, with a £490-500 price tag. Meanwhile the One S, HTC's slightly less high-end, high-end phone is placed around £440-450 by Amazon and Clove, with the same purported release date of April 5.

The April 5 date matches what's been reported by O2 UK and others in the past week, and the price tags shouldn't surprise anyone -- that's what cutting edge phones cost in the UK. (Though we're relieved to see that the One X isn't pushing into silly money territory with prices above £500.)

Network-subsidized deals will likely knock these SIM-free prices down to more affordable levels anyway. The One X and One S are to be carried by every major UK network, so we'd expect to see some competitive offers.

In the U.S., the One X will launch on AT&T, while T-Mobile will get the One S. However there's still no word on exactly when these phones are due to cross the Atlantic.

Source: Amazon, Clove, Expansys

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5 years ago

Linux kernel 3.3 released with Android support almost complete


The latest version of the Linux kernel was released Sunday afternoon, and with version 3.3 comes something that just may get your inner-geek excited -- tons of Android changes have been merged. In theory, one should be able to boot and run an Android powered device using just the vanilla, mainline Linux 3.3 kernel. There's still work to be done, especially with power management, and the wake-lock issue that many think was at the core of the argument whether to merge or not to merge still needs full resolution. But since Android doesn't need to have wake-lock support (it just keeps your battery from draining in record time) our phones and tablets can now be considered officially supported by the Linux community. We'll stay out of the nerd battle royal over the wake-lock issue and trust the promises that it will be taken care of with the 3.4 version.

Knowing that Android is now in the main Linux kernel trunk is good, and makes nerds all warm and fuzzy inside, but what does that really mean for you and me? Not a lot, really. ROM and kernel developers will benefit from an easier migration for changes and better support for custom features in the device's kernel, but for regular users there will be no big changes. For anyone working on a true native Linux distro running in tandem with Android from one device, this really makes things easier. 

One last thing to mention is that we still will have to wait for OEM's to release kernel sources for each device or update. The current Android kernel is subject to the same license as the main Linux kernel, so nothing has changed on that front -- OEM's can and will modify it as they see fit (that's the beauty of open source) and be responsible for publishing any changes. They all have been getting better at this, so I don't foresee any big problems.

Hopefully, all goes as planned and we see full support in Linux 3.4, and the next reference device from Google.

More: Phoronix; Muktware; Thanks, crxssi!

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5 years ago

ZTE Score arrives on MetroPCS for only $50


MetroPCS has been rounding out its Android lineup lately and, now they've added another device to the mix -- the ZTE Score M. The ZTE Score certainly won't win any spec wars, but for anyone looking for a cost effective smartphone, it has a fair bit to offer:

  • 600 MHz processor
  • 1500 mAh battery
  • 4GB internal memory expandable up to 32GB via microSD
  • CDMA 1x-EVDOrA Cell/PCS/AWS network
  • Bluetooth 2.1 and Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g) compatible

Android 2.3 and a 3.2 megapixel camera complete the package which, is available for $49 plus tax, after mail-in rebate. The deal applies for a limited time at all MetroPCS and dealer retail locations nationwide and online.

Source: MetroPCS

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5 years ago

Android Central weekly photo contest winners: Photo filters and effects


The winner of this week's photo contest is Cody Griffith, who captured the full hipster spirit with his entry. Taken with the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, and using the Pixlr-o-matic app, he successfully made an image captured with amazing 21st-century technology look like something taken in 1974. Nice work Cody. Keep an eye on your inbox for information about your prize.

We had some other great entries this week, as we usually do. Android users love to take good pictures (we have thousands and thousands of pieces of evidence). Hit the break to see the 10 runners-up to get an idea of just how good some of the submissions are. We'll start a new contest tomorrow and do it all again next week. 

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5 years ago

CyanogenMod 7.2 release candidate now live with support for 69 Android devices


The first major CyanogenMod release of the year is upon us, as the leading custom Android firmware launches the first release candidate (RC) build for version 7.2. CM release candidates are generally considered stable enough for regular use, and are intended to flush out the last remaining bugs before the final release. 

In addition to the large jump in the number of supported devices, currently at 69 for the new release candidate, CM 7.2 adds bug fixes and new features. These include a few which have back-ported from Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Others, such as the T9 predictive phone dialer, are found in manufacturer ROMs but not stock Android.

CyanogenMod 7.2 is still based on Gingerbread, so the list of supported devices focuses on phones and tablets running Android 2.3.7 or older. CyanogenMod 9, the next major version, is based on Android 4.0. Early nightly builds of CM9 are available for a few devices, including the Galaxy S II, Galaxy Nexus and Nexus S.

Hit the source link for the gigantic list of CM 7.2-supported phones. We've got the full changelog after the break.

Source: CyanogenMod

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